Presented by
Joe Purkhiser

In 1993, I chaired an American Fox Terrier committee that rewrote the Illustrated and Amplified Breed Standards for Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers. This presentation will be built substantially from the SFT portion of that document.

Until the mid 1980's, Fox Terriers were a single breed of two varieties. However, when it appeared that the AKC was moving toward allowing only one representative of any breed to proceed to Group Competition, the then AFTC Board of Governors was guided to seek and received Breed status for each Variety. As we all know, the AKC thought better of the proposal and scrapped it, but the AFTC had already made its irreversible move. The AFTC remains the Parent Club of both Breeds.

In 1677, two kinds of Fox Terriers were described in the English publication,

"Gentleman's Recreation." They were described as, "...taking earth very well and being very long at Fox and Badger." These were, undoubtedly our current Fox Terriers' ancestors, the Rough and Smooth Black & Tan Terriers. According to the AKC's official history of the breeds, "they can be traced at least to the 1790's."

The origins of the Fox Terrier probably descend from the old rough coated Black & Tan Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the Greyhound and the Beagle...if that last one is hard for you to believe, just listen to them in the back yard some day. In the show ring, the Smooth predated the Wire by some 15 or 20 years. The first standard as drawn by the (English) Fox Terrier Club in 1876. The AFTC's initial standard came with its founding in 1885.Fox Terriers have enjoyed great success on both continents. If one notes the BIS winners at Montgomery County and Westminster Kennel Clubs, the names of many greats of these Breeds will be prominent. Even more important, at least to me, is how many people I have met over these many years whose lives have been touched in a positive way by Fox Terriers.

As for me, my Father raised Smooth Fox Terriers before I was born. He was very fond of telling me that there was a Smooth on the bed when I was born. My first Smooth was given to me for my 6th birthday and he slept on my bed every night of his life until he died the day I graduated from High School.This presentation will be broken into several parts. The lead-ins will be a quotation of a specific portion of the Standard. Following that we will discuss that portion of the standard in some detail.

Those of you that know me are aware that I have never professed to have all the answers - on any subject. Having had Smooths for 65 years means one thing and one thing only...I am 65 years old. Any and all questions and discussion items are welcome.

Let's get to it...